VITALY GORIACHIKH, Russian Orthodox Church (Chita, Russia)

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Vitaly Goriachikh

Vitaly Goryachikh, an activist and Orthodox believer from Chita, went out on a solo picket on 28 July 2022, with a banner “I will not fear evil” (Ps 22:4). He explained in an interview with Sibir.Realii that the choice of this phrase related to his faith: «I am a believer, I did not select this quote by chance. It is from a psalm of David. As a child, I read the Bible; at a mature age, I reread the Old Testament … Using this phrase I demonstrate that I am not afraid and urge others not to be afraid either.» The two-hour picket ended with the police detaining Goryachikh. He was accused of «discrediting» the Russian army. A trial took place on 18 August 2022. The believer was fined 30,000 Russian rubles. rubles. According to the judge, the poster constituted an offence of discrediting the Russian army: “If there is a letter Z, then we are talking about the Russian army. This is a symbol in support of the Russian Armed Forces.” On 12 September, an appeal was filed against the court’s decision to the Trans-Baikal regional court, but it was not satisfied.